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Try Multiple Solutions to Solve A Problem

Last month, I took a trip to Oxnard, CA for a weekend getaway. I was about to book a room at the Hampton Inn (owned by Hilton) overlooking the harbor when I saw a promotion on their page, get the 3rd night free. Well, we were only going to go for 2 nights, but how can we not extend our trip if it’s absolutely free?

I clicked on the link, entered our trip details, and took the cheapest available option, which came out to about $130 including taxes for each night. The price included the 3rd night, so I called the hotel for clarification, and they said that upon checkout, they would credit back to my account.

The weekend was absolutely fantastic: we spent a day at the beach, went bike riding, and listened to a concert in the park from our balcony.

Sunday rolled around, and as we set out on our way for a wine tasting and lunch on the way back, I checked out of the hotel and requested my extra $130 back.

The only problem was that they didn’t see the promotion on my account. I spoke to the manager, and she wouldn’t adjust it for me since I booked it online and she said she didn’t have the power. I would have to speak with Hilton to try and get my money back.

Frustrated, I left, hoping that this wouldn’t ruin my weekend. As soon as I got home, I called Hilton and explained the situation. They told that even after clicking on the promotion, I should have selected the normal, higher rate in order to get the promotion added to my account.

Well, that sucks. I paid more for the 3 night stay than I would have had I selected a higher rate and gotten the 3rd night free. No fair! Obviously I wanted them to credit me the $118 difference.

I believe that the website was a little deceptive and didn’t give clear instructions about how to book the 3rd night free promotion. I specifically asked for clarification before booking, so I wanted Hilton to acknowledge that their employee had made a mistake in talking to me on the phone and that they should be responsible for her actions.

Calling didn’t work, so I tried two different avenues: I complained publicly via twitter and I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau. I meant business, I had been misled, and I should not have been charged as much as I had been.

Nobody voluntarily pays more for the same product. I wanted to get the rate people who didn’t make a “mistake” on their website would have gotten.

With all my complaining, getting the full $118 seemed like a lost cause, so I focused my efforts on getting back the extra money that I paid over the lowest available rate, which was about $85.

I got a fairly quick response to my twitter complaint and after a few back and forth responses, I got an email saying that they were indeed going to credit me back my $85, the extra portion that I probably shouldn’t have paid.

While I did get a response after filing the BBB report, it came about a week later, and I once again I asked for the full $118 credited back. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my wish and ultimately they decided that the $85 was enough and my hassle shouldn’t be compensated.

Rarely will one avenue work for every problem you have, which is why I tried 4 different options. I spoke to the manager, I called, I tweeted, and I filed a report.

By reaching out in all sorts of directions, I put my eggs in different baskets, hoping that one would work out positively. Because sometimes just one friendly response is all it takes to save $85.



  1. Good for you! They were taking advantage of you. It shouldn’t even have been an issue. There is no way that manager couldn’t have made it right one way or another. She should have gotten on the phone with corporate right then and helped you settle it. Terrible customer service.

  2. I had a problem with Verizon and exhausted customer service and the supervisor. I wrote a letter to the president of Verizon and received a phone call from his assistant within 48 hours. She resolved the problem and credited my account for $25.

  3. Sometimes, whether we like it or not, we really have to resort to other avenues to get our issues resolved. Inconvenient as it may seem, but if this is the only option left, then we have to go that way. Congratulations!

  4. Good. Glad you got your money back Daniel, it’s wrong that they didn’t clearly state how the promotion was ment to work.

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